Contemporary master/reappropriation junkie Richard Prince, the subject of ongoing debate in the art world, reignited controversy at this year's Frieze Art Fair when his six-foot-tall Instagrams (which are really just uploaded screenshots) of celebrities and normal people alike appeared at the Gagosian Gallery's booth in a collection called New Portraits.
Figured I might as well post this since everyone is texting me. Yes, my portrait is currently displayed at the Frieze Gallery in NYC. Yes, it's just a screenshot (not a painting) of my original post. No, I did not give my permission and yes, the controversial artist Richard Prince put it up anyway. It's already sold ($90K I've been told) during the VIP preview. No, I'm not gonna go after him. And nope, I have no idea who ended up with it! 😳 #lifeisstrange #modernart #wannabuyaninstagrampicture
Doe Deere, the founder and CEO of Lime Crime Makeup, experienced Prince's appropriation firsthand: "Yes, my portrait is currently displayed at the Frieze Gallery in NYC. Yes, it's just a screenshot (not a painting) of my original post. No, I did not give my permission and yes, the controversial artist Richard Prince put it up anyway," she commented on her own Instagram.
According to copyright law, Prince is not actually doing anything wrong. His long-honed technique of "re-photographing" is fair use because of minor changes Prince makes to the original sources. For example, with the New Portraits Instagrams, Prince borrows images but adds his own captions.
Formerly, the portraits were on display at a private show at Gagosian's Madison Avenue location and were fiercely criticized even then (though New York magazine's Jerry Saltz called Prince a genius). Then, Gagosian brought them to Randall's Island for Frieze, priced them at $90,000 a pop, and sold all but one by the end of the May 13 V.I.P. preview.
Talk about mastering the art of the steal!